FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Members of the Fort St. John Elks Speed Skating Club had a successful National Junior Long Track Championships and Canada Cup #3 over the weekend at the Pomeroy Sport Centre.
The event featured 122 competitors from across Canada with around 90 skaters in the Junior Long Track Championships and just under 40 in the Canada Cup #3.
In the Junior Women’s category where the skaters had to complete the 500-, 1,000-, 1,500- and 3,000-metre events to place in the final standings. Renee Kalkman finished in the top spot among Elks Club skaters in fourteenth place overall. Amanda Mitchell wasn’t far behind in sixteenth spot, while Yuna Lovell came in seventeenth. Hannah Brunn of Dawson Creek raced to a twenty-fifth place finish. Brooke Braun of the Energetic City completed only three of the four events required for placement.
In the Junior Men’s group, Nicolas Guliov placed twenty-third after finishing all of the 500-, 1,000-, 1,500- and 5,000-metre events while Nyam Newlove finished thirty-first overall. Joshua Telizyn competed in all four events but did not place due to a disqualification. Dakotah Ruel of Dawson Creek didn’t place after completing only three of the four events.
In the Canada Cup #3 Senior Men’s division Jacob Graham from Dawson Creek placed second in the first 500-metre race and seventh in the first 1,000-metre event. He bettered his placement in the second go-round of each event with a first and sixth place finishes.
In the sixteen lap Mass Start race where the top 28 competitors in earlier competition qualified for the event, Renee Kalkman placed eleventh and Amanda Mitchell came in twenty-second.
“I am really happy with the progression,” said FSJ head coach Richard Stickel. “All the skaters are making big strides and all the skates realized what they needed to do to race those races. We have a younger group and they finished where they should have finished. Overall I think they did really well.”
A handful of local skaters now prepare for the Canadian Age Class Track event in Quebec City this weekend, after qualifying at Provincials in mid-January.